Sunday, October 09, 2005

Saving the Internet from the UN

Adam Thierer and Wayne Crews have a good op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal on the UN's efforts to seize control of the Internet:

The implications for online commerce are profound. The moment one puts up a Web site, one has "gone global"--perhaps even automatically subjected oneself to the laws of every country on the planet.

A global Internet regulatory state could mean that We Are the World--on speech and libel laws, sales taxes, privacy policies, antitrust statutes and intellectual property. How then would a Web site operator or even a blogger know how to act or do business? Compliance with some 190 legal codes would be confusing, costly and technically possible for all but the most well-heeled firms. The safest option would be to conform online speech or commercial activities to the most restrictive laws to ensure global compliance. If you like the idea of Robert Mugabe setting legal standards for everyone, then WSIS is for you.

The World Wide Web (of Bureaucrats?)

One need only look at the UN Human Rights Commission, whose membership includes such serial rights violators as China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, to see that giving the UN authority over the web would be a disaster for free speech and expression.


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